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Get Paid to Hack Facebook?
By: Jessica Cherok
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Nearly six million Facebook users have had their personal information exposed thanks to a glitch in the social media site. Facebook is assuring those impacted that the bug doesn’t appear to have been part of any nefarious plot. Still, the unintended exposure of users’ email and telephone numbers is, once again, raising a lot of privacy concerns.

As part of a statement, issued Friday, the company said, "Because of the bug, some of the information used to make friend recommendations and reduce the number of invitations we send was inadvertently stored in association with people's contact information as part of their account on Facebook.” The statement goes on to say that the bug has been fixed, and there is no known proof that the glitch was caused with malicious intent.

It’s interesting to note that this bug was discovered by someone outside of Facebook’s staff. Facebook has had a long-standing program where hackers can get paid to find bugs within their system. The program pays well, too — starting at a $500 base rate. It’s unknown at this time whether or not the person who uncovered this glitch will receive payment under this program.

You don’t have to be a super genius hacker to discover bugs, either. This particular glitch was simply an irregularity in DIY downloading of profile information. Nearly anyone somewhat familiar with how Facebook’s privacy settings work could have noticed the discrepancy.

To learn more, check out Facebook’s Whitechat page.

   

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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